TEMPTATION. It is easy to think that “I am the only one who has ever had this situation in his life.” But it is simply not true. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” (I Corinthians 10:13-14) This verse did not say that everyone has had your temptation, but that over the course of human history many have had it, as it is “common to man.” And God will do two things when temptations come: first, He will “not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;” and secondly, He will “make a way to escape.” The most common way God has for us to escape the temptation is to use our two feet and leave! The very next verse says, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” If one thinks he will show God how strong he is, and how he can resist temptation, then he probably will fall. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Romans 13:14 says, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Do not put yourself in a position where you would be tempted. In some cases this may be hard to avoid. For example one may have a temptation to shop lift and if he can not send someone else in his place to the store then use practical helps. He should not go alone, and not take a bag or a lady a purse that might be used to hide items in etc.
Just because one has a thought come into his mind to steal or fight, does not mean that he is a thief or a brawler, or that he must fulfill this temptation. Thoughts that are wrong will come and we cannot be totally free from these, anymore than we can stop a “bird from flying over our heads.” But you can stop a bird from making a nest in your hair by thinking the right thoughts, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Have new habits (good ones) in your life, and give yourself fully to your new habits! Being half-hearted will only make you, and those around you, miserable. See OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD, see THOUGHT LIFE. At first, it is hard to stop a bad habit, but it gets better with time. Christ quoted the Bible to counter temptations, Matthew 4:4-10. See BIBLE. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
Not everyone has the same weakness, and certainly some are stronger than others, but God’s way for us is practical. Which is, stay as far away from temptation as possible!
1) “Remove thy way far from her [immoral woman], and come not nigh the door of her house:” (Proverbs 5:8)
2) “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” (Proverbs 4:14-15)
3) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (II Timothy 2:22)
4) “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell….” (Proverbs 7:25-27)
5) “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3)
Anyplace, anyone, or anything, that is a temptation to you, stay away from it. Do not use alcoholic beverages in any form (Proverbs 23:29-35, see DRUNKENNESS). Pray that God will guide you and your family, and make friends with those who are growing Christians. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, See PRAYER)
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